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asked speaker boehner if you are now the de facto leader of the republican party. and his answer was, oh, i wouldn't think so. paul ryan is a policy wonk. >> i take that as a great compliment from john. >> reporter: is that your role in the republican party, the house policy wonk? >> i have also been one of the house policy wonks. my role is to continue to be a champion of ideas, to help our party be a reform party that shows how we get economic growth. >> reporter: i asked ryan about speculation that he would be an early front-runner for the republican presidential nomination in 2016. he told me it is way too early to even think about the next presidential race. jonathan karl, abc news, washington. >> he also said another reason that his team lost is that turnout in the urban areas in the country was so high, but they also lost in states with few minorities and rural areas, iowa, new hampshire. if you look at a lot of the president's poll numbers, there was more at play than folks of color coming out in support. that's one important part of the narrative but not the full story. so, inte
. >> time to get the job done. >> speaker boehner told republican members they would have to avoid nasty fights and according to "the new york times" they seemed to listen. the word don't change a basic disagreement that could push the country off the fiscal cliff, the first of january. when a number of tax cuts expire, meaning the average family will pay $3,700 a year. and severe cuts to defense and government spending will be triggered. the sticking point on avoiding the cliff, taxes. the president campaigned on and won, on letting tax cuts for the rich expire. a leading republican said no. >> no republican will vote for higher tax rates. we will generate revenue from eliminating deductions and loopholes. >> reporter: if that sound like the argument we heard. you are right. democrats appear emboldened that rates for the rich rise. are we headed for the cliff? >> if the republicans will not agree with that, we will reach a pin the at the end of this year, where all of the tax cuts expire, and we'll start over next year. >> reporter: friday, congressional leaders come here to the was to
speaker john boehner says republicans want to cooperate but not by raising taxes. >> here we go again. president obama addressed the crisis rather and other challenges he faces in his first post-victory news conference. abc's karen travers is joining us from washington with more. hi, karen. >> reporter: good morning, rob. good morning, paula. white house officials say they were expecting the president to get tough questions and yesterday he got them on a wide range of issues. in his first press conference in eight months, president obama said the american people knew what they were getting when they re-elected him. and his takeaway from last week's results -- >> i've got a mandate to help middle-class families. >> reporter: the fiscal cliff and mandatory spending cuts and tax increases is looming at the end of the year. >> i want a big deal. i want a comprehensive deal. >> reporter: the president reiterated that he's not backing down from the campaign pledge. to raise taxes on the wealthiest americans. >> a modest tax increase on the wealthy is not going to break their backs. they'll
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